The Baby Years


As Cody’s baby years come to a close, I can look back and say that there are some things I loved so much about this precious time, and other things that I didn’t enjoy quite so much. Here are the top ten things that I will and won’t miss from the first two years of Cody’s life.

  1. I will miss “milk naps.” Those times when he would fall asleep nursing and we would just sit in our chair together. Sometimes I would doze off myself, and other times I would sit and gaze at his sweet, sleeping face, or read a book and enjoy the closeness. Now, he only takes one nap a day and I usually need that time for myself, so when he falls asleep nursing I transfer him to the bed. Eventually, he will stop falling asleep nursing altogether, and after that he will wean completely and our nursing relationship will end. That’s going to be a sad day for me! Luckily, that’s not happening yet, since we’re planning to keep nursing as long as we both enjoy it. But I will miss those milk naps!
  2. I will miss being able to easily hold him in my arms. He’s already outgrown baby-wearing, and I miss that. Eventually, he will be too heavy to hold for more than a few minutes, and he’ll be more independent and won’t want to be held often anyway. I am so going to miss those full-body snuggles when I’m holding him tight and gently rocking him before bedtime.
  3. I will miss rocking him to sleep. Although this was often Cory’s job, I have also enjoyed countless occasions of rocking my sweet boy to sleep. Usually these days, he falls asleep snuggling with daddy in bed, and rarely wants to be rocked any more.
  4. I will miss his little baby clothes. Some things they just don’t make for kids past infancy, like onesies and rompers. Or if they do, it’s a little bit odd. Either way, his clothes are getting bigger and they’re just not as cute in my opinion.
  5. I will miss spending almost all of my time with Cody. Eventually, we will have another baby and Cody will have to share my attention. As he grows older, he will want to do more independent activities as well.
  6. I won’t miss having very little time to myself. I will enjoy being able to leave Cody with a babysitter and go out with Cory for a date night more often. I will enjoy being able to get stuff done around the house without watching Cody as closely, or having him clinging onto me.
  7. I won’t miss changing diapers. Even though we’ve saved a ton of money by using cloth diapers, I won’t miss the constant laundry, or the unpleasant chore of cleaning older-baby poop off diapers, or even just changing them in general. It will be so nice to have a potty-trained child who takes care of his own elimination needs!
  8. I won’t miss nighttime wakings. A full 8-hours of uninterrupted sleep? Oh my heaven. I can’t wait. (On the other hand, I won’t have to miss co-sleeping, because we’re not stopping that! We love sharing a bed with our little guy, and can’t wait to {safely} add another little one to our {huge} family bed, whenever that may happen).
  9. I won’t miss drool, spit-up, and boogers. Yes, I know older kids still puke on you sometimes, but for the most part, the amount of bodily fluids seems to taper off significantly. That’ll be nice.
  10. I won’t miss being unable to communicate verbally with my child. When he can finally talk, I think it will be a big step up. On the other hand, I’ve been told that once they start, they never stop. So there’s that… plus, I also hear that communication may come to a halt once again during the teenage years. 😉 But for a while at least, I think it will be an improvement!

So there you have it. I have loved the baby years, but there are definitely positive changes ahead. Onward through our parenting adventure!

I’m Not Making This Up


This post is about makeup—actually, about the fact that I don’t wear any, and why. Thus, the punny title. =P

For the past five years, I haven’t worn makeup on a daily basis. It all started on a retreat I went to with my church, when I realized a simple truth—I spent too much time looking in the mirror and worrying about my appearance, and not enough time looking at things that are more important and eternal. In a word, I was vain. That vanity also contributed to my low self-esteem.

I never was one to wear a lot of makeup, but I used to feel like I couldn’t go out in public without concealer and mascara. I felt like my face alone just wasn’t enough to be considered pretty, and I also felt like being pretty was really important. The day I realized that I felt these things, and that I didn’t like feeling them, was the day that I decided to stop wearing makeup. I decided that I wouldn’t start wearing makeup again until I truly felt like I didn’t need it. Funnily enough, once I got to the place where I felt like I didn’t need it, I never felt the urge to start wearing it again regularly. And so, I’ve been makeup free for the past five years. And it’s great!

One of the things I love about not wearing makeup is that it’s easy. It takes me about 10 minutes to get ready in the morning (along with not wearing makeup, I also have a minimalist wardrobe consisting only of clothes I like to wear, can wear, and do wear). I don’t have to spend a lot of time fussing over how I look, and I can spend that time doing things I enjoy instead. It also makes things easier because I never have to worry about my makeup smearing, or rubbing off on things, or running if my face gets wet. I’m free! It also makes it easier to wash my face because there’s no need to remove makeup first or take extra time to get it all off. Yet another benefit is that I spend almost no money on makeup, which could get expensive for some people.

Another thing I love about not wearing makeup is that I feel more confident and beautiful. I don’t feel like I’m hiding behind anything; it’s just me. If I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and think I look good, or if somebody gives me a compliment on my appearance, I know that it’s because I am beautiful, not my makeup. But more importantly, I just don’t feel like it matters that much how I look. Yes, it’s important to feel good about your appearance, and it’s a good thing socially and professionally to look put-together and like you take care of yourself. For me, those things can be accomplished without makeup, and beyond that, I believe that appearances really aren’t that important because they don’t last, and they aren’t worth anything in the grand scheme of eternity. As corny as it sounds, I’d rather be beautiful on the inside than on the outside. And that attitude actually contributes to me feeling beautiful inside and out.

The third thing I love about not wearing makeup every day is that when I do wear makeup, it can make the occasion feel more special. One occasion that I always wear makeup for is my family’s annual photo shoot. I like to have photos where our outfits look cute and my hair and makeup is done. It’s not because I don’t like to be photographed without makeup, either. I have no problem with taking photos in my normal day-to-day style. But for our photo shoots, I enjoy doing something extra. I also wear makeup to parties sometimes, or occasionally if I just feel like it on any given day. It’s just something different and special, like deciding to wear a dress or a skirt and nice top instead of jeans and a comfy shirt.

I know that choosing to not wear makeup isn’t for everybody. And there’s nothing wrong with appreciating or pursuing beauty. For me, the problem was that beauty became too important, and I was pursuing it for the wrong reasons. I used makeup to make myself feel more beautiful, which made me feel more valuable. For a woman who feels beautiful with or without makeup, who wears it because it helps her to express herself, or who wears it to add beauty to the world, I think makeup is a wonderful thing. For a woman who wears makeup because she feels like she has to, or because she feels like her beauty makes her worth more, or because she wants people to be envious of her or lust after her, I would say that maybe makeup isn’t such a good thing. I used to be in that second category, but now I’m in the first, and I love how it feels.

I wonder how many women out there would be willing to challenge themselves to go without makeup? If it is a challenge for you, then maybe it’s one you need to take! For all the men out there, I hope you can appreciate the women in your life for the beauty that they exude, whether they’re wearing makeup or not; especially inner beauty, because inner beauty really is more fun to be around, anyway.